Evaluation of Agri-environmental Policies

Evaluation of Agri-environmental Policies

Selected Methodological Issues and Case Studies You do not have access to this content

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24 août 2012
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9789264179332 (PDF) ;9789264179325(imprimé)

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Governments are increasingly aware of the importance of monitoring and evaluating their policies − including agri-environmental policies − and are devoting efforts to strengthening their monitoring and evaluation systems and capacities. They aim to improve their performance by establishing evidence-based policy-making, evidence-based management and evidence-based accountability, which will help to improve the design and implementation of policies. Have agri-environmental and agricultural policies, including cross-compliance  and environmental regulations, succeeded in meeting environmental objectives for agriculture in OECD countries (and selected non-OECD countries)? What is the role for governments to encourage farmers to deliver environmental public goods? The report includes a selection papers presented at the OECD Workshop on Evaluation of Agri-environmental Policies, held 20-22 June 2011 in Braunschweig, Germany.
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  • Foreword

    Governments are increasingly aware of the importance of monitoring and evaluating agrienvironmental policies. By establishing evidence-based policymaking, management and accountability, they can improve the design and implementation of their policies. The thirteen chapters in this volume were presented at the OECD Workshop on "Evaluation of Agri- Environmental Policies" held in Braunschweig, Germany on 20-22 June 2011. They cover a broad range of conceptual and practical issues related to evaluating policy measures for stimulating improvements in the environmental performance of agriculture. The focus is on policy instruments that target farming practices with the objective of enhancing agriculture’s provision of public goods or raising environmental performance standards above the mandatory level specified by legislation

  • Abbreviations

    Depuis quelque temps déjà, le paysage éducatif et économique mondial subit une mutation rapide sous l’effet de deux grands facteurs : le premier est l’avènement de l’économie de la connaissance qui incite fortement les individus à développer leurs compétences grâce à l’éducation – et les pays à les y aider –, et le deuxième (étroitement lié au premier) est la croissance fulgurante de l’enseignement supérieur à l’échelle planétaire, créatrice d’opportunités pour des millions de personnes et source d’une croissance phénoménale du vivier mondial d’individus hautement qualifiés.

  • Introduction

    The thirteen chapters in this volume are a selection of the contributions presented at the OECD Workshop on "Evaluation of Agri-Environmental Policies" hosted by the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Braunschweig, Germany on 20-22 June 2011. During the Workshop, a total of twenty-four presentations as well as formal contributions from seven discussants were programmed. They covered a broad range of conceptual and practical issues related to evaluating policy measures for stimulating improvements in the environmental performance of agriculture. The focus was specifically on those policy instruments that target farming practices with the objective of enhancing agriculture’s provision of public goods or raising environmental performance standards above the mandatory level specified by legislation.

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  • Ouvrir / Fermer Cacher / Voir les résumés Framework for agri-environmental policy evaluation

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    • Design and implementation of agri-environmental policies: Are guidelines feasible?

      This chapter explores the feasibility of framing guidelines for designing and implementing agri-environmental (AE) policies of general relevance across OECD countries. It discusses various aspects of the design and implementation sequence: definition of objectives, the importance of policy coherence, the role of the reference level, the types of empirical evidence needed for sound design, implementation and evaluation, the role of the reference level, targeting, implementation and ensuring compliance, policy evaluation, institutional capacity and financial administration. It argues that potentially useful, general guidance may be feasible regarding many aspects of the process, but that its scope and level of detail would not be the same for all interventions or all stages of policy design and implementation. Given the diversity of circumstances and AE policy experience in OECD countries, guidelines should be accompanied by specific illustrative examples.

    • Evaluating policies for delivering agri-environmental public goods

      This chapter provides a conceptual framework for discussing methodological and practical issues arising in the context of evaluating policies for delivering agri-environmental public goods. It distinguishes three stylised types of evaluation – the "administrative", "scientific" and "economic" approaches – each of which provides a different kind of information in a different time-frame. The scope for each approach to perform its role more efficiently and usefully is explored, as well as the underlying difficulties and constraints.

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  • Ouvrir / Fermer Cacher / Voir les résumés Specific evaluation issues and country experiences

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    • Evidence-based agri-environmental policies: The Swedish experience

      This chapter discusses the evaluation of agri-environmental measures within Axis 2 of the CAP’s Rural Development Programme, focusing on methodological aspects. The evidence analysed is based on experiences from the recent mid-term evaluation of the Swedish Rural Development Programme, which is dominated (70%) by Axis 2 measures. The authors identify major weaknesses in the present evaluation procedure and suggest appropriate remedies. The weaknesses include, inter alia, vague concepts, insufficient availability of suitable methodology and lack of empirical data. A number of strong recommendations for improvement are formulated, which would jointly improve the objectivity and scientific rigour of the methodology as currently applied.

    • Additionality in US agri-environmental programmes for working land: A preliminary look at new data

      The United States’ agri-environmental (AE) policy for working land relies largely on voluntary programmes. Agri-environmental payments result in additional environmental gains only if they prompt the adoption of practices that would not have been adopted without these payments. Little is known, however, about additionality in US programmes. Recent data from the Agricultural Resources Management Survey (ARMS) show that some producers have adopted conservation practices without payments, either because they are profitable on their farms (conservation tillage) or because targeted practices are required by state regulations (nutrient or manure management). It is also possible that some recipient farmers might adopt practices even without payments. In future research Propensity Score Matching (PSM) will be used to estimate the extent of additionality in US agri-environmental programmes. Potential barriers to this research include small sample size and the complexity of US agrienvironmental programmes.

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  • Ouvrir / Fermer Cacher / Voir les résumés Lessons learnt from evaluations performed

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    • Follow-up study of the impacts of agri-environmental measures in Finland

      This chapter summarises recent findings on the impacts of agri-environmental (AE) measures (2008-13), with special attention to water loading and biological diversity. Indicator trends, and comparisons between sites subject and not subject to AE measures, were analysed. Measures with the most potential for reducing nutrient loading are those targeting fertiliser rates, nature management fields and plant cover. Biodiversity has benefited from farmer contracts regarding traditional biotope management, organic production, raising local breeds and so on, as well as non-productive investments like establishing constructed wetlands. Agricultural nutrient loading has decreased because of lower artificial fertiliser use, but nutrient leaching from manure around clustered animal production units is increasing and requires measures targeted to manure composition and disposal. The greatest threat to biodiversity derives from trends in landscape structure. Due to regional heterogeneity, the objectives, measures and support levels of the AE scheme should be customised more according to the region, production sector and individual farm, by means of farm-specific environmental management plans.

    • Evaluation of agri-environmental measures in Flanders, Belgium

      Flemish rural development policy aims at improving the competitiveness of agriculture while enhancing the environment and the countryside by supporting land management. The quality of life in rural areas is encouraged by diversification of economic activities. The chapter focuses on the evaluation of the environmental effects of two types of rural development measures. First, the environmental effects of farm investment support measures targeting farm modernisation and diversification into non-agricultural activities were assessed. Second, the impacts of agri-environmental measures on farmland bird populations (numbers, species diversity and breeding) were measured based on two separate monitoring initiatives. Results of both evaluations are reported.

    • Evaluation of cross compliance in England

      This evaluation covers the first four years of the application of cross compliance conditions to all farmer recipients of the Single Farm Payment (SFP) under Pillar 1 of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. The main findings are that the compliance level is generally high and that some measures have stimulated significant changes and benefits, although lack of additionality was noted for one measure. The lessons learnt include the need for farmers to be convinced of the rationale for and the public good benefits of certain measures, greater clarity in formulating requirements, more help to farmers with some record-keeping tasks, more care to avoid potential overlaps with Pillar 2 measures, and a separate inspection process, outside the mandatory 1% inspection monitoring fraction, for reported breaches of standards.

    • A policy evaluation of Environmentally Friendly Direct Payment Programme in Korea

      Korea’s Environmentally Friendly Direct Payment Programme (EFDPP) provides an incentive and transitional support for farmers who switch to environmentally friendly farming methods. As such, it has made a positive contribution towards preserving the environment in Korea. However, as payments to individual farms cease after three years, it does not provide a permanent on-going reward for the greater provision of agri-environmental public goods once the switch is complete. This chapter reviews the background and objectives of the EFDPP, and its impacts. Since its introduction in 1999, farmers and policy administrators surveyed have evaluated it highly as a programme for promoting environmentally friendly farming. The analysis is then used as a basis for suggesting improvements in the current EFDPP.

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  • Ouvrir / Fermer Cacher / Voir les résumés New methodologies and evaluation approaches

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    • Evaluating agri-environmental schemes using a spatially explicit agent-based

      Networks of nature reserves are being proposed as a solution when the degree of fragmentation is considered to endanger the long-term persistence of species diversity. Agrienvironmental schemes are supposed to make a positive contribution to these networks. The spatially explicit agent-based model presented in this chapter combines spatial dynamics in land ownership, land use and the importance of agri-environmental schemes in conserving biodiversity by capturing the heterogeneity of individual farms as well as their dynamics over time, in a spatially explicit landscape. The chapter evaluates the effects of two different agrienvironmental policies at landscape level, and shows that agri-environmental schemes with flexible payments based on a spatial landscape configuration can be valuable for agrienvironmental policy development.

    • Econometric methods for estimating the additional effects of agri-environmental schemes on farmers' practices

      Agri-environmental schemes (AESs) that remunerate farmers who volunteer to adopt practices that are more favourable to the environment are increasingly important policy measures in both the United States and the European Union. Cost-benefit evaluation of an AES requires estimates of the additional impact of the AES and of the extent of windfall effects. This chapter defines these notions and discusses the biases of naive ways of estimating them. We then present an overview of the econometric methods that can be used to estimate additional effects. We illustrate them with examples taken from original results on the evaluation of the French AES programme implemented between 2000 and 2006.

    • Application of the Agri-Environmental Footprint Index to assess agri-environmental policies in Greece

      The Agri-environmental Footprint Index (AFI) aims to assess the environmental performance of farms under agri-environmental schemes (AESs) by combining existing agri-environmental indicators and multi-criterion decision analysis. A variant of the AFI approach, developed to address AESs in Greece, was applied to two different farming systems under AES regimes (organic farming in extensive olive groves and nitrate pollution reduction in intensive arable crop cultivation), to compare the environmental performance of participating and nonparticipating farms. No significant differences in environmental performance between the two groups of farms were found. Moreover, the AESs in both cases appear to lack full additionality. When AES outcomes are assessed against the environmental objectives pursued, outcomes are in line with the policy aims in the case of organic farming, whereas for the arable farms, any benefits accruing seem to be mainly collateral.

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  • Ouvrir / Fermer Cacher / Voir les résumés Market-based solutions to agri-environmental policy

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    • Cost effectiveness of CAP greening measures: An ex ante evaluation in Italy

      A new policy tool that creates a market for ecosystem services provided by agriculture is analysed, and compared with mandatory requirements targeting the provision of these services. We quantify the potential regional supply curve of ecosystem services, using as a proxy the amount of carbon that could be sequestered by permanent grassland. A minimum data approach is used to integrate the spatial heterogeneity of the agro-systems with economic data collected through FADN in a case study area (Veneto, Italy). Results suggest that tradable permits (floor and trade) could be more efficient than policy based on direct payments or mandatory standards, although the largest provision of ecosystem service (carbon sequestered) is achieved with mandatory mechanism.

    • Socio-political conditions for successful water quality trading in the South Nation River Watershed, Canada

      Ontario’s South Nation River watershed has a regulated water quality trading programme. Legally, wastewater dischargers must not discharge any increased loading of phosphorus (P) into receiving waters. New wastewater systems are now choosing trading instead of traditional P removal technology, whereby point source dischargers buy P credits from rural landowners, primarily farmers. These credits are generated by constructing nonpoint source pollution control measures, and science-based formulae are used to calculate the credits of P removed by each measure. The chapter identifies the conditions necessary for the success of such a programme, drawing on ten years’ experience of this established scheme. An independent evaluation showed higher opinions of the programme had enhanced participants’ opinions of the broker and regulatory agency, and most farmers were willing to, or had already, recommended the programme to other farmers.

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